Monday, January 9, 2012

Glaucoma Awareness Month

January is Glaucoma Awareness month in the United States. Glaucoma is damage to the optic nerve, the part of the eye that brings vision information from the eye to the brain. It is usually, but not always associated with high eye pressure. The normal eye pressure is 11-21. Some people who have very high pressure will never develop Glaucoma, but unfortunately some people with "normal" pressure will develop all of the vision problems associated with the disease.

The most common type of Glaucoma, Primary Open Angle Glaucoma, causes a slow, painless loss of side vision before any central vision problems come up. Vision loss is permanent, so the name of the game is prevention!

The most common risk factor for the development of Glaucoma is a family history, especially if your family member had severe vision loss from Glaucoma or developed it a very early age. Not everyone in a family will get Glaucoma, but the risk could be as high as 30%! Make sure you know your family eye history.

Every person should have a complete eye exam that includes a dilated pupil examination of the optic nerve. If there is high pressure or any question of abnormalities you may be asked to under further testing. Be aware of Glaucoma, this month and every month!

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